Glenn Debuts on Brunswick Records

Brunswick Studios, New York – June 9, 1937

Charlie Spivak, Ralph Capelli, Tweet Peterson (tp); Glenn Miller (tb,arr), Jesse Ralph, Bud Smith (tb); Hal McIntyre (cl,as) George Siravo, (as) Jerry Jerome, Carl Biesecker (ts,arr); Chummy MacGregor (p); Bill Peyser (g); Rollie Bundock (b). Emery Kenyon (d).

Glenn is the arranger on all titles except the last, which was arranged by Carl Biesecker.

B-21234-3     I Got Rhythm             Brunswick 7915

B-21235-1     Sleepy Time Gal        Brunswick 7923

B-21236-1     Community Swing     Brunswick 7923

B-21240-1     Time On My Hands    Brunswick 7915



Two and a half-months after the date with Decca, Glenn signed a contract with Brunswick Records, which would produce a total of four sessions over the next year. Not exactly munificent, but at least Miller would be getting some discs in the stores on a semi-regular basis.

As on the Decca session, the tunes performed were all vintage standards, except for one hot Miller original, COMMUNITY SWING. Notably, we get to hear Glenn solo for the first time with his own band, on TIME ON MY HANDS.  This date also marks the first appearance of pianist (and Miller right-hand man) Chummy MacGregor, who would hold the chair for the full length of the band’s existence.

SLEEPY TIME GAL, like several of the Decca tunes, features Biesecker’s tenor leading the reeds.  It’s a rather uneventful performance,  enlivened briefly by McIntyre’s bright clarinet. TIME ON MY HANDS is more of the same, with some nice interplay between the brass and reeds.  As mentioned earlier, Glenn solos, tightly muted, sticking close to the melody.

The two hot tunes have more to offer. COMMUNITY SWING is a standard riff piece, providing space for good solos by trumpeter Tweet Peterson and McIntyre, plus drum breaks from Kenyon.  I GOT RHYTHM is the winner of the date – a real all-stops-out tour-de-force that shows Glenn’s arranging skills at their imaginative best. Soloists McIntyre, Jerome and Peterson each get a full chorus, backed by a churning reed background.  The ride-out chorus features several false endings that surely caught dancers unaware!  Glenn apparently liked this final chorus so much that he tacked it onto his 1939 arrangement of HOLD TIGHT, with an added trumpet flourish as a coda.

It’s fascinating to compare this performance to Glenn’s almost martial 1930 chart of the tune for Red Nichols (with the GIRL CRAZY pit band) and Billy May’s refreshing ballad arrangement for the 1942 Miller band.  Actually, the opening choruses of the 1930 and 1937 performances are very similar in tempo and attack.

Coming on the next session – Glenn finally get a chance to record some current pop tunes!



3 thoughts on “Glenn Debuts on Brunswick Records

  1. I notice above that Ralph Capelli is listed on trumpet…this is incorrect, it should read BOB CAPELLI. I know this, because Bob Capelli was my father. My sister still has Glenn Miller’s letter and postmarked envelope inviting Bob to join his band. A small point of accuracy, but big to me! Thank you!

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